Kamloops tourism largely unaffected by wildfire situation

By Jill Sperling
July 13, 2017 - 5:00pm Updated: July 13, 2017 - 6:18pm

KAMLOOPS — The massive wildfires located around the province are having little impact on the local tourism industry. 

It's business as usual at the Kamloops Visitors Centre. Despite a few smokey days early this week, people are still choosing to visit and enjoy the recreation offered in Kamloops. 

Some of the guests at the Visitors Centre have been wildfire evacuees, who have found refuge in Kamloops.

Monica Dickinson, director of industry relations and communications, says Tourism Kamloops is continuing to direct visitors to attractions around the city. 

"At this point hotel accommodation is open and welcoming at this point," Dickinson said, "our restaurant partners are also fully engaged, and as far as we've heard our tourism operations are all open. So, attractions, wine tours, the breweries are open, our downtown area, and downtown parks are open, so it is truly business as usual here." 

Air quality has improved enough for people to play outdoors, however, nature parks within the city remain closed. 

The city closed the parks to prevent further fires in the tinder dry conditions. 

"I think it's a bit of a disappointment for those who know Kamloops for our hiking and our mountain biking, but certainly a great precaution put forth by the city to make sure that our community stays safe in a tinder envionment," Dickinson said.  

"But our downtown parks are open and fully functioning. Riverside Park, and Pioneer Park, and the Rivers Trail remain open. We still have Music in the Park happening nightly, and also Prince Charles Park is open and hosting X Fest until July 29. So, many of that activity remains."

Some wildfire evacuees tired of having to re-register every three days